It is important to know which questions you should ask your realtor when you first meet to sell your house. The right realtor will not only help you sell your house faster and make more money, but can also make it less stressful. It is important to have a positive feeling about the agent you are selling with. But, it is even more important to ask questions and get answers. Understanding which questions to ask your realtor is a crucial part of the steps to selling your house.
How Did Your Price Arrive at the Suggested Amount?
Every agent will tell what price you should list your house for. However, the way they got to that price is more important. It is crucial to set the right asking price in order to maximize your offer price and sell quickly. The listing price is the first indication of the value of your home. If you set the price too high, it will discourage motivated homebuyers. If you set the price too low, you might be wasting money.
You want to make sure that your agent is able to negotiate and justify the price they gave you and that they have your best interest in mind and aren’t suggesting a high price to up their commission. The realtor should show you a comparative marketplace analysis during your first meeting. This is an analysis that your potential agent will do on your property. It compares it to other recently sold properties.
Realtors who are unable to explain the suggested price will often keep their analysis vague. You might see some recently sold houses, but they won’t really tell you how they came to the price. You want to see a hard copy of a comparison of your house to other recently sold homes.
Do You Also Represent Buyers?
Your real estate agent’s answers will tell you a lot about their integrity. In most states, it is possible for them to also represent the buyer in the selling process. However, this is not something that has to be done. How much you make from the sale of your home will depend on how well your realtor does. Negotiating is an important part of this. Keep in mind that real estate agents cannot negotiate on your behalf if they are also representing the buyer. This is explained in the agreement that you will sign with them.
Real estate agents may want to represent the buyer because it doubles their commission. The commission you pay for selling your house is split 50/50 between the listing agent and buyer’s agent. However, some real estate agents may risk their integrity to make more money. Many times, this results in a lower selling price of tens or thousands of dollars.
Asking your realtor these questions is not only to prevent you from selling below the market value but also to verify their integrity. You should immediately hear that they won’t represent the buyer. Anything else is a red flag.
What Marketing Tools Do You Use to Sell Homes?
Marketing is crucial and what drives higher demand for your home. More homebuyers will be attracted if there is a higher demand. In turn, a higher selling price can be achieved if there are more buyers. Agents who are skilled in emotional marketing will incorporate that emotion into their marketing plans.
When you ask a real estate agent about their marketing tools, they will likely tell you about the Multiple Listing Service, real estate portals, professional photography, and advertising. These are all amazing tools but, in order to ensure you have the best real estate agent possible, you will want to know a little bit more about how they stand out in terms of marketing strategies.
Ask your potential real estate agent about your home’s selling points and the perfect demographic that the home should be sold to. It is important to discover how this real estate agent will use these two points to market your home perfectly to the best buyer possible.
Are You Skilled in Vetting Buyers?
A real estate agent who knows how to vet buyers is important to have. Homes are usually put back on the market after a pending after because the buyer could not get financing OR because the buyer will not be held responsible during the inspection contingency period. In order to find financing for the buyer, the real estate agent can either call the loan officer after receiving the offer or make it a requirement that the buyer submits a pre-approval letter with their offer. Your agent should know the buyer’s debt to income ratio upfront. If this is done, the buyer’s agent can’t use it as an excuse for not selling the house.
You also want to know about their strategy to minimize buyer withdrawals during the contingency period. Sometimes, there’s nothing you or your realtor could do to stop this, but you could try to have inspections done before you sell or inform the buyer about the inspection report’s contents. This will make it very difficult for buyers to cancel the sale because they already knew about the problem. Having a real estate agent by your side who understands this vetting process will increase the likelihood of your home being sold.
How Do I Get My Home Ready to Sell?
Many sellers make the common error of spending too much money and time on items that don’t really matter. It is important to only spend as little as possible and only invest in things that will return your investment. If you intend to live in the house while it is being sold, talk to the realtor about what items can be kept and which should be removed. The best agents will walk through your house and give you a list of things you should do to make your home sell.
What Will I Owe In the End?
This equation is simple! Take away anything owed on the property and closing costs from the selling and that will give you your net proceeds. The commission will make up a large portion of the closing costs. Other closing costs may include title fees, escrow fees and attorney fees, but these will not be included in your total cost.
Keep in mind that closing costs are negotiable. This is your chance to put your potential realtor to the test. It is important to observe how the agent responds. A prompt reply explaining why the realtor is worth it is the ideal answer. If a realtor cannot defend their financial interests, they won’t know how you can defend yours.
How Many Homes Have You Sold?
You want to make sure that you are working with someone with experience. You will have a much worse chance of making the most money if you work with someone with little experience. Real estate transactions can be complicated. Ask for a list of real estate property that has been sold. The older the better. Although some realtors are in the business for over twenty years, they have only sold a few homes in the past several years. It is important to find someone with the right experience and who has made many sales in the past few years.
Do You Have Experience Selling Homes in My Area?
Many buyers today search online to learn everything they need about a particular neighborhood. However, there are certain things that buyers will not be able to find online about a particular neighborhood. You should look for a realty agent with some previous experience selling properties in your area. They will be able to identify the selling points in your area and help buyers justify a higher price.
If the realtor does not have experience selling homes in your area, ask them how they plan to get the information they need about your neighborhood. A knowledgeable realtor will do their research and find all the details they need.
Can I Cancel My Agreement at Any Time?
You will sign an agreement when you choose the real estate agent with whom you want to sell your property. This information is only for you and your agent. Usually, the agreement lasts 6+ months. This means you can’t fire your agent or hire another one at the same time. This means that your realtor will get paid regardless of whether or not you are happy with their services.
Many realtors will make unrealistic promises during their first meeting. They will do and say anything to get you into an agreement. They promise to sell your house at a ridiculous price. This is particularly common among top real estate agents. This is the foundation of many businesses and has been for years. They advertise themselves as “top selling agents” or “neighborhood experts” and offer a high price in order to convince the seller to sign an agreement. This is when the listing becomes “stale” which causes buyers to start questioning the property’s condition. The home’s final sale price is often much lower than it should be if it was priced correctly from the beginning.
Having a real estate agent who allows you to cancel your agreement reduces the chances of this happening. There are absolutely no reasons why you should be tied down to a contract. You must get this in writing.
How Many Days On Average Do Your Homes Stay on the Market?
The average number of days a home stays on the market is the time between the moment it is listed and the day you accept an offer. It does not include the closing date. This will give you an idea of the time it might take for your home to sell. This number is similar to the ratio of sale to list price. It can be compared to other realtors. Realtors who have their listings for longer than average days may overprice them. A lower-than-average price almost always indicates that they are underpriced for the homes they sell.
How Many of Your Listings Have Fallen Through?
A real estate agent who gives a higher number than usual might indicate that they aren’t doing a good job of vetting the buyer. There are many reasons a transaction might fail, but an agent with a history of closing sales successfully without having to put their listings on the market again knows what they are doing. It is important to factor in the number of listings that the agent has. This number is a measure of how successful they are at their job by selling more houses.
It is important to meet with a realtor for the first time before you choose them to sell your home. This is your chance to ensure that you are hiring someone who will treat the sale like their own. Selling a house is not easy. Your realtor can make the difference between getting top dollar and letting your house sit on the market. The above questions will help you to find the best realtor for your home.